Greenways for Asheville
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Greenways offer multiple social, environmental, and economic benefits to communities, which has led to their increasing popularity. Social benefits include increased recreational opportunities; alternative transportation options and connectivity; preservation of historical and cultural landmarks; and access to nature. Environmental benefits include cleaner air due to less automobile congestion; increased awareness of environmental issues; improved ecological balance; and disaster mitigation. Economic benefits include reduced natural disaster damage and costs; increased activity, tourism and business opportunities; and revitalization of the area. Implementing greenways, however, also face many challenges, such as funding, public support, land acquisition, political will, planning and maintenance. This report looks at three case study cities: Greenville, SC, Chattanooga, TN, and Austin, TX to examine their successful greenway projects and learn best practices and implementation strategies. The lessons learned from these case study cities are then used to recommend best practices to the City of Asheville, NC, as they embark on an ambitious riverfront greenway plan of their own.